The High Criminal Court of Appeal in Manama adjourned on Tuesday the retrial of 13 high-profile Bahraini activists, including co-founder of the Bahrain Centre of Human Rights Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja , who were originally sentenced by a military court in June 2011 to between two years and life in prison over their participation in last year’s uprising.
Activists say the Judge refused to deliver verdicts because detainees were chanting inside the court "with our souls, our blood, we give it up for you Bahrain [sic]". The 13 leading dissidents will appear in court on September 4.
Overall the verdicts for 57 opposition activists and pro-democracy demonstrators were expected to be handed down on Tuesday. Only a few were.
The case of Zainab Al-Khawaja, daughter of Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja and fellow activist, was also adjourned until August 28, sister and rights activist Maryam Al-Khawaja said on her Twitter account. Zainab Al-Khawaja, also known as @angryarabiya, was arrested for staging a lone protest in the village of Diraz, North West Bahrain.
A court of Cassation ordered last April the retrial of the 13 activists who have always claimed their innocence. Last May, during a court hearing, al-Khawaja said that he and others had suffered abuses and torture in custody.
Amnesty International had appointed human rights expert Dr Ghanim Hamad Alnajjar to attend and observe Tuesday's proceeding at the High Criminal Court of Appeal.
The rights group has recognized all 13 activists as prisoners of conscience “held solely for peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly” and has called for their immediate release.